Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I can't quite understand how, if at all, you roll to lie in Dungeon World.

Parlay does not work because you don't necessarily have some leverage on the character.

share|improve this question
Not a duplicate but high correlation.… – Wesley Obenshain Mar 1 at 6:52
up vote 20 down vote accepted

You don't roll to lie. You roll to see what the lie gets you.

Stating a thing that's not true doesn't require a roll, as it doesn't necessarily provoke a Move. The roll comes in when you want the person to act based on that lie, and that will usually suggest a different Move based on what you want to accomplish.

share|improve this answer
The conversation about figuring out a worked example has been moved to chat. – SevenSidedDie Feb 29 at 17:50

Unless you're playing a class with a lying move, or you're in a special quest or against a special character with a move related to lying, you just lie. Outside of Parley, which requires leverage, there aren't general moves related to most conversation. You just lie to them, and the GM will decide whether or not they believe you and use an appropriate GM move to respond.

share|improve this answer

In Dungeon World you describe what your character is doing. If you happen to trigger a move with the description, then you roll for the move. If you lie while using leverage to get an NPC to do something, then you roll the Parlay move. If you lie while trying to defy danger with your charisma, then you roll the Defy Danger move. The same reasoning would apply to any move you might get from a class.

share|improve this answer

The Defy Danger Move is your go-to Move for when you're not really sure what other thing to do.

From the SRD:

Defy Danger

When you act despite an imminent threat or suffer a calamity, say how you deal with it and roll. If you do it

by powering through, +Str

by getting out of the way or acting fast, +Dex

by enduring, +Con

with quick thinking, +Int

through mental fortitude, +Wis

using charm and social grace, +Cha

✴ On a 10+, you do what you set out to, the threat doesn’t come to bear.

✴ On a > 7–9, you stumble, hesitate, or flinch: the GM will offer you a worse outcome, > hard bargain, or ugly choice.

You defy danger when you do something in the face of impending peril. This may seem like a catch-all. It is! Defy danger is for those times when it seems like you clearly should be rolling but no other move applies.

Therefore, you'd probably just roll +Cha, and on a 7-9 they're not sure they believe you, and you either need to put more on the line to make your case, or whatever else the GM thinks is appropriate given the circumstances.

share|improve this answer
Just talking is worth rolling the dice when your skill at talking will get you something you need that somebody isn't naturally inclined to give you, OR when you're putting yourself at risk of danger and your smooooveness can get you out of it. That's WHY +cha is included in the Defy Danger Move. Sure, if the lie has no consequence, then there's no roll. But, if you're trying to bluff your way into a VIP event with the Baron, or smuggle goods into the city, or whatever, then "just talking" has real story impact, you are in fact Defying Danger, and a roll on this move is absolutely appropriate – Xavier Mar 1 at 6:23
I would argue the specifics but this isn't really the place. The primary problem is that as-written it implies that if you aren't rolling anything else when lying that you should Defy Danger. But when your playing DW you're not choosing between moves. You're telling a story and then checking if that story happens to trigger a Move (explicitly or implicitly). – Wesley Obenshain Mar 1 at 6:35
OP's question didn't ask "when appropriate". It asked "How, if at all." Part of that how is that sometimes you don't. And no, not all RPGs and certainly not all GMs do it that way so it bears mentioning. Anyway, that's my feedback. You can change it or not. – Wesley Obenshain Mar 1 at 6:44
The problem is that the question isn't that specific. It is asking about "When you something unspecified here and your skill at lying becomes involved". – Quentin Mar 1 at 7:38
Have you played or read the full game? This answer seems to be skipping past critical game-running rules that should be involved long before a roll might happen. Things like players never pick moves, and how there can be no such thing as a go-to move since every situation is handled according to its unique context. – SevenSidedDie Mar 1 at 16:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.